Many of the Field’s films were produced in house by the Motion Picture Division, formed after World War II, and are among the most vivid visual representations of the first decades of the 20th century. A significant portion of the Moving Image Collection was created during the 1920's and 30's when the Museum sponsored many expeditions around the world. Expedition members used film to document their activities and the daily life of people they encountered.
These films include unique footage of Arctic, Native American, Central American and Middle Eastern cultures at a time when scientists were scrambling to study moments of natural and human life before they were changed by the tide of history and modernization. Many of these films were used in Museum education programs and had been an integral part of the Field’s Saturday film series for more than 40 years until the late 1960’s.